In 2010 just before the State Fair, the Republican Party made a strategic move to cement the idea in voters’ minds that Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin was inevitably tied to the incredibly unpopular Nancy Pelosi.
Even if a fair goer wasn’t political and would never wear a sticker, they couldn’t escape the message. The stickers were everywhere. Adults who wanted to show their disappointment in Herseth-Sandlin’s lack of willingness to stand up to her party’s leadership proudly displayed the image across their chest and kids who loved stickers wore them for fun. Either way the message was everywhere. And the message resonated.
Now Ben Nesselhuf and the South Dakota Democrats are taking up that same strategy with their stickers… Even the design. Right down to the exclamation mark and period.
They want to negatively tie Kristi Noem to her vote on Medicare. They are rallying their base.
I’m going to give Nesselhuf credit for an genius political move just like we should give credit to Bob Gray, Lucas Lentsch and that very talented person who designed the originals. (Perhaps that timeless art should have been copyrighted and the Dem’s could pay a nice little royalty fee? – I’m certain imitation will suffice.)
The Democratic Party is hurting electorally across South Dakota, and they don’t have a specific candidate to promote, so they are doing the next best thing they can. Promote a cause.
“Save Medicare! – Fire Noem.”.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the Democrats are energized, motivated and ready to put up the best fight they can muster.
Stickers and signs don’t win elections, but they influence attitude and allow people to publicly display their support for a cause or candidate. Sticking a sign in the ground or planting a sticker on a supporter encourages activism. You can’t win an election without first winning the support of the volunteers.
We all have our own opinions of the Ryan Plan. But the latest move by the SDDP is one reason elected officials must actively promote their position on the issues to the voters. If our elected officials don’t define their position on complex issues aggressively, a simple sticker and slogan by the opposition can cement opinions – not necessarily the way we want.